Monday, June 30, 2014

Soooo Ridiculously Hot!!!!

Well, family...

Don’t know where to start. 

It was a pretty crappy week.  Some great awesome things, but some not-awesome things too. 

We had zone conference which I just loved.  I was super scared to teach it, but it went really really well.  I love my zone and the missionaries that are here with me.  Some pretty cool guys!  I am starting to warm up a little bit as Zone Leader, little by little, but I do like it and am growing lots! 

This week, I had a work visit with a good friend from my Group.  Elder Evans, from Minnesota, but studied in BYU.  I had the opportunity to work together for two days, and we had a good time.  It was funny, because we always try to do practices in Comp study, so we had the bright idea to do it in English....But we couldn’t....we failed so miserably. jaja  Thats what 11 months in Peru, speaking nothing but Spanish does to you!

Funny story.  It’s the end of the month...and we were suffering with water, food, and money.  One day we were walking down the road, and my companion began to kick a little bag.  And when he kicked it, it broke  open and like five dollars worth of Peruvian money shot out....So we learned that God takes care of his army.

I am a little bit discouraged right now, just because there is nothing going down in my area.  The last 3 or 4 transfers in my area, nothing has really been happening and the missionaries really haven't been working.  We have 2 investigators, which hardly progress, and we really are just lost.  The area is really unique and its not like Querecotillo where there are people EVERY WHERE to talk to.  Its a big city, and I really don’t even know where to start.  My companion is really an awesome friend, and I really enjoy being with him, but he is WAY trunky....jaja  (its kinda hard, because sometimes he puts on Jack Johnson, which is bitter sweet)  he knows it and is working more with me than before, but there really is just so much work to do.  I am happy most of the time, just a little discouraged and looking for what to do.  I have to think about it like this...Nephi didn't know how to build a boat, and I don't know how to fix this area, but someone does, and it looks like I need more time in the scriptures, and on my knees.  Looking forward to the future!

We played soccer today for P-day, and it was soooooo hot.  Like ridiculously hot.  And in our apartment, before we left to come was like 93 degrees.... HAPPY WINTER!!  We looked hard and found an inter-net with “AC.”  so it’s like 85 degrees now.

I am really good, and really happy! 

Hope that everything goes well this week. 

I am excited to see the airport pictures with Tay...but kinda not. 

All of my friends here just laugh at me!  Jaja

Love you all!

Elder Bradshaw

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quite the week!

Nothing really awesome happened, but it was just solid. 

Changing areas is quite the deal and it really is pretty tough.  I went going from a super poor area based on the exportation of bananas and Catholisism, where I knew what to do and had to do almost everything and make all of the an area with 4 or 5 story buildings, almost no one in the streets, where I don’t know anything that I need to do.  jaja So it’s quite the change.  I like where I am, and I am excited to work here.  There is lot to be done and so we’ve just got to get started. 

So I am in Tumbes...

Tumbes is a state, and also a city.  My Zone is called like a separate part of Tumbes...Think Provo and Orem.  My area is called Andres Araujo.  Tumbes is way cool because we are sooooo close to Ecuador.  It’s also a big city here, but on the outskirts, its all rice fields and stuff, so its pretty.  Almost the whole mission is just killer heat with the strongest sun ever...but here, its the strongest sun ever---with humidity, so its different, and I’m dying!  Our room is big and really cool and was really dirty when I came, so there is lots to do there. 

In my Zone, there are only two districts, so its really really small.  But I like that because I will get to know my zone really well.  Of the 14 missionaries, 6 are from the states, so that’s kinda fun.

Zack and his district at the beach:  His companion, the Chilean version of Ben, is next to Zack in the red jersey.

My companion is Elder Castro.  He is a really cool guy and we get along real well.  He has 19 months in the mission.  He is from Consepcion Chile and is EXACTLY like Ben Adamson...just without the guitar.  In the way he acts and talks and looks...he is just exactly like Ben. jaja  So, obviously, we are good friends.  Love it! He is the first companion that I have had since my trainer that has more time in the mission than me, so its super cool because I am learning lots of things, instead of trying to figure them out on my own. 

As for Zone Leader...I don’t really even know why I’m that guy...I don’t feel prepared or qualified at all.  I only have like 11 months and I have so much to learn and do. 

Yesterday, I had my first Mission Leader Conference in Piura with all of the other Zone Leaders and the President which was super stressful, but super cool.  When we go to Piura, we go on a wicked nice bus...It was like an airplane...With food, bus beds, AC, it was so nice. but when we come back, we can’t take that same bus, we were on a horrible bus,  and I felt like a piece of junk in an right now, I just feel a little wasted, and plus just feeling like there are lots of things to do.

I had the opportunity to do splits with one of the AP’s and it was a good time.  I learned so much yesterday and there is so much more to do.  And tomorrow, I have to teach my zone, everything that President taught to us...Soooooo, there is lot going on for me right now.

My area is pretty dead.  There is plenty to do here but I am pumped to do it.  I really am pretty excited to work, just super tired today.  I FINALLY attend church in a real chapel.  After almost one year in really dirty small house chapels, I attended in a WARD BUILDING....WOOOOOOOW.  Its a really small ward but with lots of great people.  It’s a two story ward building which is cool.

PDAY: went to the beach which was super chill.  Some one has a football (a real one) and I have the frisbee so we had a good time.

Sharing a message on the beach

Mom, don’t worry about the pensionista thing.  We have someone to do the laundry and there area a ton a great restaurants all around that are good.  So,  I will just be eating out a little bit more.

How have I seen the Lords hand in my life this week?
I have really seen his hand through my prayers.  I am a little bit worried about all this new stuff, but every time I pray, I really know He is listening.  I feel his comfort and I feel his Arms around me.  I just feel really close to Him at this time.  I also feel comfort through the pages of the Book of Mormon.  Those two things are the key...and if your not doing them, you have got 13 months to start doing them before I get home and open up a can of Whoop-you-in-the-face!

I had a cool insight this week....We don’t have to make up our way to success, someone has already done it, and all we have to do is just follow His teachings.

I can’t believe that Taylor is home in two weeks!  Has he told you what things he wants to do?  I dont think about this often...but really, the things I want to do are sleep in, go to the temple, eat NOT RICE, and just not have a schedule to follow.  With a few hours in a pool and the mountains with tons of music.  Seriously, when he gets home, or when I do, if there is a grain of rice in the house...who knows what will happen!

So, like I’ve already said a 1,000 times...I am good, just a little bit tired, Excited to work and excited to hear a little bit from you guys.  Keep on going, know matter how hard it is!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, June 16, 2014

Crazy week here...


Tomorrow I will have 11 months in the mission.  Time is flying and things are going good.  I loved to hear that you are having a great summer thus far and that Father’s Day was awesome for you.  Father’s Day here is basically just another excuse to drink drink and drink...then have a crazy Peruvian techno rave in front of our apartment till 2 in the morning. But its all good. This week was a great week, with tons of things happening...really, it’s been a crazy week, so I guess I will just get started...

Tuesday, I had a work visit with an awesome friend.  Elder Smith from California came to Querecotillo and we had the opportunity to work for a day together.  He is just an awesome guy and super chill.  Knowing before hand that he was coming, I borrowed a guitar from a member, which made the work visit just that much better.  SO FUN!  I was super tired after, but we worked hard, had a good time, and its always fun to just get out a little bit of English. 

Work Day + Elder Smith + guitar = SO FUN!

The rest of the week was just basically work work and work.  We had been looking and looking for lots of new people and this week we had TONS of luck!  We found families, and some really good ones too.  We had probably my most successful week in Querecotillo.  We got along great, worked hard, and saw some fruits from all the work.  Saturday especially we had an awesome day.  We put down 4 baptismal dates with new families which are just awesome people.  I was really pumped.  Saturday, in the night, we went out for some chicken to celebrate a good transfer. 

Waiting for the chicken dinner!
 When we returned to the room, we really weren’t even thinking about transfers.  I was in middle of his training and things were really going really well,  plus with how my interview went and everything, I really didn't think I would have a transfer.  But...then the phone rang.... and they told me that I did have a transfer.  I actually got really mad and actually didn’t believe it.  I really really was kind of ticked off and felt like I had been thrown under the bus.  But, I've repented and it's all good now.  I just prepared my bags and everything.  One of the problems was that we didn’t know our comps, areas, or asignaciones (assignments) until Monday, so I was just waiting in limbo. jaja  Sunday, we had a good day, with just lots of farewells.  I was really sad to go, and I already miss the area and the people.  The branch threw me a little party and everything was fun.

Zack's farewell party with the branch in Querecotillo. 

Then this morning, I woke up at 4:30am, only getting like 4 hours of sleep, and we left.  I went to Piura for a meeting and there President told us our changes...

So I got sent to Puyango...

It's like 5 hours away from Piura and it is literally touching Ecuador! 

My companion is Elder Castro from Chile who really seems to be a cool guy.  He has almost 19 months, and I am excited to work with him. 

Also, I am a Zone Leader now....don't know why, don’t know how, but do know that I really have lots of things to learn and do.  I don’t feel prepared and don’t know what really is going to happen.  I am excited but really really scared. Let’s hope it all goes well.

And yes....I know that the World Cup is going on...because it’s on TV everywhere and everyone is always talking about it.  It’s pretty fun though.  I was with some other gringos today and we were pretty pumped because the US was winning against Ghana.  It’s on everywhere!!!  It’s kinda funny, because you go to one house, see the score, then the next house, its a little bit different, and after three or four visits, you’ve got the whole game.  jaja..

I am excited for my transfer, and excited to see what is coming ahead.  I really am sooooooooo tired.  I can hardly even focus. 

Zack and his district in Querecotillo

Do they have Father’s Day in Peru?
They do have it here, but I think its more like “day for people to become fathers day”

World Cup stuff? What is the feeling like there?  Do you have mission rules about it?  
Its just excitement in the air and it’s kinda fun.  Feels a little like March Madness.  We can’t watch it, but its everywhere, so we know whats happening.

How have you seen the hand of the Lord in your work this week? 
The Lord has really guided us to find some great families this week.  I won’t see their progress, but I did my part and planted the seeds.

What are you excited about in your mission this week?
New area, new companion,  new assignment.  It should be pretty interesting.  We also have multi zone conferences soon. 

Getting good food?
Yeah. We don’t have a Pensionista here, so we have to cook, or go to a I think we will be eating out a lot.

Are you past the home sickness? 
I miss you all a ton, but I really don’t feel sick about it at all.

Fun stuff for Pday today?
5 hours in bus. and nothing more.

Well I really hope that everything is going well there. 
Love you all a ton, and I cant really believe that Taylor will be home so soon.  The day is 8 de July right...

Love you all so much!  And also,  I want to hear how your study of Preach my Gospel is going.

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lots of Work Happening here...

Hola familia!

You know that feeling when you think you are about done scooping manure...then grandpa orders another truck load the next day, then the next day, and the next....

Well thats how Querecotillo is going.  Work, work, and more work, with little to show for it.  I am really excited with some of the changes which the mission is doing (a new way to plan and set goals, and a couple of different focuses) and I am trying to do my best to apply the changes, but wow its hard.  I really am happy, its just been a couple of weeks with lots of work, and little rewards.  We just have to keep saying, “there is no where to go...but forward.” 

With the new changes, we are really searching for families.  We don’t ever pass a family in the streets without talking to them, and sometimes we will spend 1 hour in 20 yards in one street, and I love it!  We are talking with tons of families and we have really found some hopefuls.  We will see what happens with them.  Querecotillo, I feel has kinda hit a wall.  We are working so hard, just not seeing tons of great results.  But, like I said...I am really really excited for some of the families we have found in these days.

Soooooo.....half of Querecotillo knows my family by now!  The mission was chosen to try a new program of family history, and part of it, is this little book that is called “My Family.”  I have LOADED it with all of your pictures and is a really powerful teaching tool.  So thanks for your ejemplos and everythings.  Sorry, I know my English is failing.

So, funny things that happened....
This week, Elder Nosa had to go to Lima (a little bit frustrating because we haven't had much time to work in Qtllo), so I stayed with the Zone Leaders, and we are basically way tight, so that was a blast.  We also had interviews, and the ZLs were busy all day, so I left with a member and worked in their area...A little bit funny, cause I didn’t know anything there, but it went well and it was a good time.   

Also...Saturday night, we were walking down the road in the night to return home, and there were two dirty dogs...doing dirty the dirty street...which is basically completely normal here.  So we passed by them, and I decided to loudly clap the two books in my hand when we were right next to them.  After the sonic boom, one of them turned into Lightening McQueen and bolted away, and the other into a raging dragon running all over trying to bite me.  Some lady was screaming too.  I still don’t know if she was for me, or for the dogs.   But it was just a funny experience that makes me laugh pretty hard when I think of it.  Probably not the brightest thing to do, but its Peru.

In my interview, President told me that I am a good trainer. So I think I will be training for a while in my mission.  Which I’m fine with.  I am happy with where I am and what I am doing.

Tranfers are this week.  I highly doubt that I will be transfered, but there is always a probability.  Kinda don’t want one.

I also got a package from G and  G Bradshaw...I love the ties!  And also a postcard from Ally Melendez.  THANKS!

Zack exploring the reservoir in the area with mission friends.

In what ways have you seen the Hand of the Lord in your work this week?
Just everything.  The families that we have contacted are really directed from God, and I am just excited to be so close to his work!

What is one way that you feel like you have changed while on your mission?
I don’t know, but I’ll be thinking!  Lots of ways!

Fun things for P-day this week?
We all just got together and played games then went to lunch...I have got some awesome friends here, so it was fun.

What cool pictures have you taken to send home to your dear sweet mother?

With Elder Holmes in Lima.  Don't know if Zack is excited about the Coca Cola...or the FIFA World Cup!

I love you all so much!  Thanks for everything!

Love Zack

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ghetto Computer Day

Hola Familia!

Lo siento....I am on a super ghetto computer and the letters are moving and swaying...and so are my eyes...and my mind...So, this letter might be a hard letter to read.  

So, we had a good week!  It was a hard one, but a good one.  We have had so many opportunities to travel these past couple weeks.  In two weeks...I traveled to Piura 4 times, Lima one time, and Talara one time.  And traveling here gets you real tired, so this week has been wicked exhausting.  It was also hard to come back from Lima to pure Spanish after two days with English, pizza, and ice cream.  But now I am fine...still just way tired.   Also, Thursday we had another training for Elder Nosa and the other new missionaries.  Because I am training and district leader, I have had a million things to do.  It's been a pretty stressful couple of weeks, but I am fine, and just enjoying it.  

We are working real hard and its all been going well.  Elder Grow talked tons about setting inspired goals through prayer and the Holy Ghost, so we did what he told, and we both felt like there are 7 people that can be baptized in June and July in Querecotillo...Now we just have to find them (which is the hard part).  I really feel like I am working the hardest I have in my mission, but really seeing little fruits.  It's kinda discouraging, but its all good. Just more to do.  

I am sorry, I really don't know what to write. 

Things are going really well with Elder Nosa.  He wants to work hard, and we are, so thats good.  He is a companion that helps me reach my potential, and lets me help him to reach his.  So we get along really well and are doing great. He still has some of the greenie traits, and keeps trying to "one-up" my Utah mountains with his Colombian hills!  ...But that's all in fun.  We are great friends.  

Today, we went with our Zone Leaders, and another companionship to check out a big reservoir, just north of our area.  But too bad my computer is so ghetto, or you would be getting tons of way cool photos. But I guess that will be for next week. The missionaries we went with are some great friends from the mish, and it was a great time.  (Elder Lauder, Saratoga springs....Elder Cook, Farmington UT.)  

I am so sorry that it really has been a pretty boring letter.  I just feel a little jumbled up.  It might be the dancing letters in front of my eyes, or how tired I am...but its all good!

I loved the package so much, it's been a great blessing....tell grandma I wore the yellow shirt today.  Thanks so much for everyone that worked to put it all together.  Love you all!

Sounds like you have got a great couple weeks planned....Lexi is going to Birdseye?  so fun!  I swam in that mud pond in the early spring with Jake butters, and we shot of tons of ghetto rockets there....So that was a good time.  Lake Powell!  WOW!  Jealous.  Sometimes I dream of ripping up the river in Querecotillo with a jet ski, but I guess that just has to wait a little.  Super jealous.  

For the next few weeks, I imagine the mission life will be a little more relaxed.  We have interviews with Pres Rowley this week which I always love.  I am closing in on my half way mark and am really kinda weirded out with that.  Its going by so fast!

Love you all so much family!  Hope you have a great week.... Be safe in Lake Powell, and mom, you HAVE to get in!